I do not have to tell you how much anxiety can hold you back in life. I am sure one can think of many opportunities they have missed out on due to anxiety. There are things you want to do and goals you want to achieve, yet anxiety paralyzes you from taking action. Maybe you want to start taking classes or go on a road trip with your family or friends, but you are too anxious to do so. I am here to tell you that whatever you want to improve in your life is possible. Whether this be your relationships, your career, your health, or any number of goals.
Suffering from anxiety is like having a heavy set of chains dragging you down. This prevents you from achieving your goals with the energy and motivation you need to succeed. One of my favorite quotes is “Live and Let Live”. When you overcome your anxiety, you can start living your own life, the life you have always been meant to live. This allows your relationships, your social life, and even your work to improve. Overcoming anxiety can improve your overall health, and can even lead to you becoming a better parent.
The fact is that unless they have suffered themselves, it is hard for people to relate to what you are going through. I want whoever is reading this to know that I understand that it feels like you are trapped in your anxious thoughts and symptoms. I understand the urge to want to stay at home within your comfort zone, what it is like to feel anxious and trapped when you are out surrounded by strangers. More importantly, I want you to know that there is a way out. When anxiety enters your world, your life can be turned upside down. Things you once took in stride now fill you with fear. Whether it is talking to people, driving, or even sometimes walking down the street. I know what it feels like to have your mind become full of intrusive thoughts and feel your body panic as a result.
You are probably thinking to yourself, “Anxiety has become such a large part of my life, it is hard to imagine living without it”. However, breaking free from this cruel prison is not impossible. You can talk to people without feeling nervous. You can drive on busy highways and maybe even enjoy it. You can live your life without constantly worrying about your health. You can have a calm and relaxed body, free from the symptoms of anxiety. You can overcome life’s challenges and obstacles, and feel more confident than ever before. You can enjoy the feeling of breaking free from your anxiety. You can live and let live, learn to be in the present moment without always dreading some imaginary future crisis. You can visit new places and feel comfortable in your own skin. I know you have tried so hard to overcome your anxiety in the past and it is hard to believe that any of this is possible. However, learning new ways of managing and coping with your anxiety can set you free.
Three steps to making anxiety work for you:
Step 1: Acknowledge your anxiety.
Seeing and labeling your anxiety can help you to move from a reactive, fearful place to a more thoughtful and deliberate one.
Step 2: Own your anxiety.
Connect with the life values and positive motivations underlying your anxiety. “I’m anxious about _____, because I deeply care about ____.“
Step 3: Use your anxiety.
Channel the energy of your anxiety into pursuing those life values, values-based goals, and deepening your connections.